Man accused of ‘maiming, torturing’ boy to death

Zackariah Daugherty was 2-years-old

Taylor Kraig, 20, at his court appearance following his arrest for the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son, August 17, 2016. (KOIN)
Taylor Kraig, 20, at his court appearance following his arrest for the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son, August 17, 2016. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A grand jury has handed up a 10-count indictment against a 20-year-old man nearly three months after homicide detectives first arrested him in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

The new indictment against Taylor Lynn Kraig was filed Friday, and it accuses him of one count of aggravated murder, one count of aggravated felony murder, one count of murder by abuse, one count of felony murder, one count of unlawful sexual penetration, three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, one count of third-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree assault constituting domestic violence.

Kraig appeared in court on Monday. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Zackariah Daugherty on his second birthday. (Courtesy of Jason Kraig and Mandy Daugherty)
Zackariah Daugherty on his second birthday. (Courtesy of Jason Kraig and Mandy Daugherty)

Based on the indictment, it appears prosecutors have several theories about Daugherty’s death.

According to the indictment, the first theory is that as a result of the “intentional maiming and torture of Zackariah Daugherty” Kraig “unlawfully and recklessly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, cause[d] the death of [Daugherty],” and that Kraig had “engaged in a pattern and practice of assault and torture” of Daugherty.

Another theory suggests that Kraig committed the crime of first-degree assault upon Daugherty and that act ultimately caused the boy’s death. The crime becomes aggravated murder because Daugherty was younger than 14 years old.

The third theory – murder by abuse – alleges that Kraig acted “unlawfully and recklessly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, cause[d] the death of [Daugherty],” and that Kraig had “engaged in a pattern and practice of assault and torture” of Daugherty.

The fourth theory – felony murder – alleges that Kraig committed first-degree assault upon Daugherty and “in the furtherance of the crime” he caused Daugherty’s death.

In count five of the indictment, Kraig is charged with first-degree unlawful sexual penetration upon Daugherty. Records show that alleged incident happened Aug. 15. Police have not released details about the alleged abuse.

Records are now revealing new details about the alleged criminal mistreatment of Daugherty.

Prosecutors allege that on Aug. 15, Kraig “did unlawfully and intentionally and knowingly withhold necessary and adequate medical attention” from Daugherty. On Aug. 14, Kraig is accused of knowingly leaving Daugherty “unattended at a place for a period of time that was likely to endanger the health and welfare of” the boy.

An undated photo of Zackariah Daugherty. (Courtesy of Jason Kraig and Mandy Daugherty)
An undated photo of Zackariah Daugherty. (Courtesy of Jason Kraig and Mandy Daugherty)

In a separate incident, Daugherty was somehow physically injured on Aug. 12, as a result of an assault committed by Kraig, and prosecutors allege that when the injury occurred, Kraig had assumed the care, custody and responsibility for Daugherty’s supervision.

The final count in the indictment – fourth degree assault – alleges that on July 4, Daugherty “recklessly” caused physical injury to Daugherty’s biological mother. At the time of the assault, the two were in a relationship together, according to court documents.

According to the indictment, 28 people provided testimony to the grand jury.

Trial is set for July 2017.

“Mr. Kraig and his defense team are unaware of any new evidence justifying this decision by the Multnomah County grand jury to reconvene and substantially increase the volume and severity of the charges. Mr. Kraig remains optimistic and hopeful that a full and fair evaluation of his case, based upon objective facts and science, will ultimately demonstrate that Zachary Daugherty’s heartbreaking death was not due to his actions. We urge the media and community to respect the presumption of innocence and we look forward to a full airing of the complete facts in this case.” – Bryan Francesconi, criminal defense attorney.